Agenda item

FInancial Outturn 2022/23


The Head of Finance presented the report and briefly explained the appendices and the different financial reserves to Members.


It should be noted that on page 31 on the 3rd bullet point, the figure should read £735k, instead of £735.


Officers gave the following responses to Member questions/comments:


·         The majority of underspend comes from vacancies and recruitment issues and the lack of activities which aren’t being carried out and subsequent underspend of resources because positions aren’t filled. It is, however, better to be in an underspend situation than a deficit situation. These reserves should be used on an ‘invest to operate’ basis to improve efficiencies. A plan for this will be brought to Members when it’s ready.


·         The renaming of reserves is about defining a clear purpose for the reserve as beforehand it was unclear.


·         The post-covid working reserve is set aside for the restructuring of teams around the offices as a result of covid, as well as for additional occupational health and safety requirements and helping to tackle mental health problems caused to staff by the pandemic. Officers said that it would be reviewed.


·         The significant challenges which limit external auditors from completing Local Authority audits in a timely manner are to do with recruitment and staffing changes. It’s currently being looked at by central government but at the moment, only around 27% of audits are signed off.


·         Although visitor centres look like they’re generating considerable profit, the costs to operate them outweigh the profits that they bring in. Consultations will look at how to provide the visitor service to more people than what the centres currently reach.


Members were very concerned about the job vacancy issues which were widespread across the organisation. Officers were similarly concerned and had plans in place, as well as the organisational change proposals, to tackle this issue. Members welcomed the Chief Executive’s approach towards solving the big issues around recruitment and retention.


Members found the accounts difficult to understand. It was suggested that activities that have significant income and significant costs should be broken down further in the report to make it more clear where issues lie.


The Head of Finance confirmed that a new financial system was coming soon which would be easier to understand and there would be a Member’s workshop arranged then to help everyone get up to speed with it.


A motion to approved the recommendations was moved and seconded, voted on and carried.




1.         To note the outturn position and variance analysis for 2022/23 as shown in Appendices 1 and 2 of the report.

2.         To approve specific reserve appropriations of £1.7m as shown in Appendix 3 of the report.

Supporting documents: